Crane tip control for agricultural tractors

Crane tip control for cranes on agricultural tractors. That’s the big innovation from Finland’s Kronos at SkogsElmia. Until now the function has only existed on large forest machines.

Previously, John Deere was the only company to offer crane tip control. The function was presented for forwarders in 2013 and for harvesters it was a global premiere at Elmia Wood 2017. But now Kronos is bringing this cutting-edge technology, based on the fly-by-wire system on fighter aircraft, to cranes for agricultural tractors and log trailers.

“Our Smart Boom Control makes the work far easier and safer for inexperienced operators and improves the work environment for experienced ones,” comments Dennis Grankvist, export manager at Kronos.

Automatic end damping

Test operators were initially hesitant but became lyrical in their praise after having tested the crane tip control in practice. Instead of the operator controlling each hydraulic cylinder separately, the computer calculates the optimal crane movements. There is also a function, which can be disconnected, to prevent the crane from hitting the timber bunks during loading.

“The control system also engages damping at the cylinder end positions, so there are never any impacts that can damage the crane,” he adds.

The models with this Smart Boom Control are the Gripto 1009 and 1010, with 8.5 and 10 metres’ reach respectively. They are sturdily built with built-in hydraulic hoses in the extension boom and for the rotator.

Also available for other manufacturers

Crane tip control also makes these cranes interesting to makers of forwarders and smaller harvesters with harvester heads up to 500 kg, enabling them to offer a technology that previously only the large machinery manufacturers had access to.

It is one thing to explain the advantages; quite another to experience them. Kronos is therefore focusing on demonstrating the technology during SkogsElmia. The company will bring along a simulator that will enable visitors to directly compare a conventional crane to one with crane tip control.

Innovation for log trailers

At SkogsElmia Kronos is also presenting an innovation for its log trailer, Smart Drive+. This is a steering system for the trailer’s propulsion that collects data from the tractor about speed, the position of the brake and clutch pedals, the position of the operator’s chair etc. It means that the trailer’s propulsion is automatically engaged and disengaged and in the correct direction of travel.

“The innovation is that the trailer’s propulsion is synchronised with the tractor’s. This is done using a boost function to propel the trailer more than the tractor when required, plus a curve-taking function when the trailer goes more slowly,” Dennis Grankvist says.

Smart Drive+ is available for Valtra’s tractors and will also be made available to other manufacturers.

 

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Published
5/27/2019